NY Pancyprian Freedoms striker Shavon John-Brown.
By Ralph 'Onz' Chery |@onz_11
Nov. 8th, 2018
It took a glaring performance from a young zealous international player alongside his experienced NY Pancyprian Freedoms teammates to make the Stars stop shining last weekend, Shavon John-Brown.
The Grenada player became the first international to win CSL Player of the Week in the modern era as he racked two goals and one assist versus Cedar Stars Academy in NY Pancyprians’ 4-3 win on Sunday afternoon.
John-Brown is the lone international player in the CSL and last played for Grenada on October 12th of this year in a 2-0 loss to Cuba under former NY Pancyprians (2002) and ex-MLS star Shalrie Joseph’s coaching reign.
Prior to Sunday’s match, the Freedoms were on a two-match winless run as they lost to NY Greek Americans, 3-0, on Oct. 23rd in the Fricker Cup and drew with Central Park Rangers Whites, 1-1, on Oct. 28th in the league.
John-Brown netted an 88th minute tying-goal versus CPR Whites but wasn’t happy with his performance and wanted to make up for it against Cedar Stars.
“I’m always up for challenges, the game before that wasn't one of my best,” the Grenadian said, “so I couldn't come back out with a bad performance, had to take it to a new level, so with that being said I feel very good about my performance.”
NYPF’s match versus CSA was the awaited first-versus-second clash and fittingly turned out to be the match of the season thus far.
Despite going home with the win, NY Pancyprians was the first team to concede a goal as Bledi Bardic strolled Christopher Katona’s pass in the net from the six-yard box in the third minute.
“The way the game started, I could've tell that it was going to be a hard game, so we was ready for the occasion,” the youngster said.
John-Brown stole the ball from the Stars in midfield in the 13th minute before hitting an intelligent through ball to Adam Himeno, who coolly hit a shot to the far right corner.
Nine minutes later, the 23-year-old put NY Pancyprians on top as he side-footed Himeno’s cross in the net.
Later in the 77th minute, John-Brown extended the Cypriot club’s lead to four-goals to two. He found Himeno on a counter with another well measured pass however the veteran midfielder’s eventual shot was blocked by Bryan Lopez. Himeno passed the rebound back to John-Brown, who one-timed a shot in the net.
Katona scored in the 85th minute to pull the Stars back by one goal, 4-3. NYPF held on to the 4-3 scoreline for the remaining five-plus minutes to go home with the full three points.
It was Cedar Stars’ first loss of the season in 11 matches in all competitions. John-Brown explained how tight of a game it was.
“It was a game where one feels like every chance you get, you have to capitalize on it and that's exactly what we was out there trying to do,” he said.
In his debut season with the Freedoms, John-Brown leads the club in scoring, tallying five goals in as many league-games and he’s the team’s third assist leader, collecting two goal-passes.
The starlet’s next game with NY Pancyprians is on December 9th in a Greek-Cypriot Derby versus NY Greek Americans. As for his international career, Grenada’s next outing is on November 16th against Saint Martin.
At 23 years of age and six months, John-Brown is the third youngest man who has a CSL Player of the Week to his name after Idy Watt (22 years old and four months) and Mamadou Guirassy (23 years old and 26 days).
1. Cedar Stars Academy striker Bledi Bardic—2 goals vs NY Pancyprian Freedoms in 4-3 loss
2. NY Greek Americans Joe Holland—2 goals vs Zum Schneider F.C. 03 in 3-1 win
3. Cedar Stars Academy Christopher Katona—1 goal, 1 assist vs NY Pancyprian Freedoms in 4-3 loss
4. Doxa S.C. midfielder Dominick Falanga—2 assists vs Hoboken F.C. 1912 in 2-1 win
Past CSL Player of the Weeks
Week 1: Cedar Stars Academy forward Christopher Katona—4 goals versus Zum Schneider F.C. 03 in a 6-1 win
Week 2: Shamrocks forward Kurt Cameron—2 goals vs Doxa S.C. in a 3-1 win
Week 3: Cedar Stars Academy forward Christopher Katona—2 goals, 1 assist vs Shamrocks in a 5-0 win
Week 4: Cedar Stars Academy forward Bledi Bardic—4 goals vs Doxa S.C. in a 7-1 win
Week 5: Cedar Stars Academy forward Christopher Katona—3 goals, 1 assist vs Central Park Rangers in a 6-2 win
Week 6: NY Greek Americans striker Charlie Ledula—1 goal, 1 assist vs NY Athletic Club in a 3-2 loss
Week 7: Lansdowne Yonkers F.C. striker Jack Doherty-- 2 goals vs Central Park Rangers in 3-2 win